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E-M:/ Dow Closed door negotiations-AGAIN

EPA Region V issued a Special Notice today to Dow Chemical by which the company, Region V and MDEQ will go behind closed doors for the third time in three years to negotiate a cleanup under the Superfund Alternative Site agreement process (SAS) to address Dow's dioxin contamination in the Tittabawassee River, Saginaw River and Saginaw Bay of Lake Huron. 

 The SAS process is only a 'guidance' which does not require CLOSED DOORS. Dow has long wanted to deal with EPA exclusively-- read the article below. The SAS is moving forward without any explanation on the fate of the  viable RCRA corrective action license which is in place.  It goes without saying that Dow always wants to go behind closed doors. Unfortunately  voices in defense of  transparency are silent when it comes to Dow and closed doors always create the much coveted delays that Dow has relied on for decades.  No objections from MDEQ about the lack of transparency.

More real soon.

 Michelle Hurd Riddick

Lone Tree Council



Dow expects to receive EPA letter today on dioxin

By Tony Lascari
of the Daily News
Published: Monday, December 15, 2008 12:40 PM EST
    A potential new path to dioxin and furan contamination cleanup in the Saginaw Valley is under discussion.

    The Dow Chemical Co. expects to receive a letter today from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 office and Michigan Department of Environmental Quality that would describe the potential end points of negotiations to create an Superfund Alternative Site.

    The company and the agencies hope to come to an agreement on issues such as how much more data to collect and what remedies to use for contaminated riverbanks and other sites in the Tittabawassee River, Saginaw River and Saginaw Bay.

    "This is not a negotiation to establish a final remedy," said Dow spokesman John Musser. "It's an important step, but it's not the last step."

    Negotiations are expected to get in-depth next month, with Dow needing to make a good faith effort by Feb. 15. After that, a 30-day extension could be granted. If terms are reached, implementation could take from one to several years, depending on what work is agreed upon.

    Musser said previous dealings with the MDEQ left Dow feeling it wasn't headed toward an end point.

    "The negotiation that's coming up offers us some hope," he said.

    The talks also will be different than previous discussions with the EPA under Region 5 Administrator Mary Gade, who left her job in the spring stating she had been stripped of her powers by EPA headquarters because of her work with the Dow contamination issue.

    At the time, Musser said Dow had appealed to EPA headquarters to seek equal treatment, which it hadn't received from Region 5 when it tried to come to an agreement on cleanup efforts.